Why Is Hezbollah Threatening War With Cyprus?

Almost daily, Hezbollah has been ruthlessly attacking Eretz Yisroel with rockets, UAVs (drones) and small artillery. One thing the terror group hasn't done was escalate beyond Israel. That all changed last month when they threatened… Cyprus. Wait what?

By FrumNews.com

Almost daily, Hezbollah has been ruthlessly attacking Eretz Yisroel with rockets, UAVs (drones) and small artillery.

One thing the terror group hasn’t done was escalate beyond Israel. That all changed last month when they threatened… Cyprus.

Wait what?

Background

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country just east of Israel and Lebanon. It has a complicated history with Israel, as Cyprus views itself as above the politics of its neighbors. Like Greece, it was wary of Israel’s close relationship with Turkey—which has deteriorated its relationship with Israel since the current Milchama started.

As a member of the European Union, Cyprus has moved to improve ties with Israel, especially after Israeli-Turkish relations deteriorated. They signed a bilateral defense cooperation agreement as early as 1993, which has seen the countries conduct joint exercises. Recently, the Israeli Air Force is also known to conduct exercises in Cyprus’s airspace and has conducted joint military drills with Israel.

(We should note that the United Kingdom, a staunch ally of Eretz Yisroel, has bases in Cyprus and fights terror organizations from them [such as when Iran fired hundreds of drones and missiles at Millions of Yidden in April]. During a possible war, the UK might allow the IDF to use its bases).

  • IDF special forces during extensive exercise in Cyprus, Januarary 2018. Photo by Cpl. Omer Barr, IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

What happened now?

In recent months, Israel has prepared for a possible war with Hezbollah. including using used bases in Cyprus and Greece.

On June 19th, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, threatened Cyprus if it continued to support Israel and open its air bases and air space as “part of the war and [Hezbollah] will deal with it as part of the war.”

This new escalation has not been met favorably by Cyprus, Israel or the European Union (which would be forced to respond militarily under its mutual defense clause).

President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, responded to the terror organization, saying it has no part in the conflict. “My answer is that the Republic of Cyprus is not involved in the war conflicts in any way…I therefore reiterate that Cyprus, our country, is absolutely not involved in any way, and is not part of the problem. To the contrary, we demonstrate in practice that we are part of the solution.”

Asked if he is worried about the remarks by Nasrallah, the President said: “The statements are not pleasant, but they do not correspond in any way to what is alleged, that is, to present the image that Cyprus is involved in the war activities. That is not the case at all.”

EU Foreign & Security Policy Service spokesperson Peter Stano expressed support for it’s EU member, “Cyprus is a Member State of the EU, this means the EU is Cyprus and Cyprus is the EU. Any threat against one of our member states is a threat against the EU.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller condemned the threats, saying, “These comments are extremely unproductive, and Hezbollah should cease making threats against anyone.”

Neighboring Greece also expressed its “undivided solidarity” with Cyprus, saying on Twitter/X that “the threat to use force is a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter.”

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